Wednesday, April 30, 2014

When Others Shuddered By Jamie Janosz

"When Others Shuddered, Eight Women Who Refused To Give Up" By Jamie Janosz is a good book about eight women who stayed strong and worked hard for Jesus Christ.  The eight women that Jamie Janosz writes about are Fanny Crosby, "Emma" Dryer, "Nettie" McCormick, Sarah Clarke, Amanda Smith, Virginia Asher, Evangeline Booth, and Mary Bethune.  All of these women were born and lived in the 1800's up until the early 1930's.  Fanny Crosby was the only one I knew who she was before this book. This book really gets me into wanting to learn even more about each of these women.  Each was a powerful woman that lived for Christ in her time and went against the norms or what was expected of them. Also most of them had a connection to D.L. Moody.

Fanny Crosby was a famous hymn writer that was blinded since childhood, we still sing a lot of her hymns today.  "Emma" Dryer whose dream was to build a Bible School and with emphasis to also educate women biblically which she thought would help them at home and in society.   "Nettie" McCormick was a very rich woman who used her wealth to help others specifically schools, also with her friend "Emma" Dryer they helped/encouraged D.L. Moody to start his Bible Institute.  Sarah Clarke was a women who with her husband ran a mission and one of the men they preached the gospel to became a famous preacher his name was Billy Sunday.  Amanda Smith was an African American woman who was born into slavery, ends up traveling all over the world helping others learn about Jesus Christ.  Virginia Asher witnessed to women that most people especially at that time nobody would look twice at, the prostitutes and even bar patrons.  Evangeline Booth the daughter of the founders of the Salvation Army rose through the ranks to Commander and was know for helping others including those affected by the 1916 San Francisco.  Mary Bethune was an African American woman who stood up in the face of racism in her era (1875-1955).  All these women had in common was their love for the Lord and wanted to help others.  This was a powerful book and thanks to it I want to learn more about each of these woman.  I highly recommend it as a good book to learn about known and unknown women missionaries.

I was given this book from Moody Publishers for my honest review and was not required to give a positive review.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

A must read by everyone "The Waiting" By Cathy LaGrow

"The Waiting: The true story of a lost child, a lifetime of longing, and a miracle for a mother who never gave up" by Cathy LaGrow with Cindy Coloma.  This is one of the most powerful books I have ever read.  It is a true story about this wonderful (who I would love to meet) woman name Minka finding her daughter after 77 years.  She was raped when she was just 16 years old in 1928 and she gave up her daughter, Betty Jane, to adoption praying that her little girl would have a good life.  Well when she gave her up, she did not give her up in her heart.  She constantly wrote letters to her until the birth of her 2nd with her husband Roy in 1947.  Most of the book is about Minka and her life from a little bit from childhood, the rape all the way to today.  Yes, I said today as of today she is still alive, yes she was born in 1911. An amazing and strong woman!  We find her meeting her husband Roy, with him coming home from World War 2 with PTSD.   Her close friendship with her younger sister Jane. Her having their two children with Roy but also his alcoholism affecting their family in bad ways.  Even through all this she stays strong in her faith and keeps in her heart the love and memory of her daughter Betty Jane whom she still loves very much.  The last section of the book we learn about Betty Jane's, renamed by her adoptive family Ruth.  Minka did know that Ruth was adopted by Pastor and his wife which turned out to be a big blessing for that family and Ruth.  Ruth was blessed with a very loving family.  In high school she met and fell in love with her future husband Charles. Ruth and Charles ended up having six children.  Minka one day decided when she did her praying for
Betty Jane/Ruth she decided to ask God to help her find her.  What she did not know was that her daughter was looking for her with the help of Ruth's son Brian. Minka's daughter and her grandkids did not know about her long lost daughter.  But Minka and her complete family now was reunited.  Once Minka was reunited with Betty Jane/Ruth she was able to finally forgive her rapist even though she had put him out of her mind for years.

I will say this was one of the most powerful books I have read.  The story Minka and Betty Jane/Ruth is very powerful and started to make me cry.  We have a tendency in this pro-abortion culture to forget that there many woman out there that have been raped but still loved their children that came from that rape.  This was a powerful story that needed to be told.  I am so thankfully to Cathy LaGrow (who happens to be one of Minka's Granddaughters) for writing her Grandmother's and her Aunt Ruth's story.  This is one book I do not plan on ever getting rid of.  You can buy here at and please do buy it.

I was given this book by Tyndale Publishers for my honest review and was not required to give a positive review.

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

A Broken Kind Of Beautiful by Katie Ganshert

"A Broken Kind Of Beautiful" by Katie Ganshert is a very good novel about redemption.  This has been one of the best novels I have read in the last few months.  I was on the fence about picking this book to review but I am so glad I did.  Our main character is a young woman name Ivy Clark a model .  We find at the beginning Ivy at the funeral of her father and her stepmother Marilyn. She is a very bitter woman as we find out her dad had with his mistress.  He did not love her and her mother was an addict that did care for her but like she needed to be.  Ivy's step-mother Marilyn does love her unconditionally even though she is the product of her husband's affair which is why Ivy can't understand her love.  Ivy's Uncle (her dad's brother)is also her agent and a very hard nosed one that picked Ivy as a model when she was a teenager. Now at the age of 25 she is at the end of her modeling career but does not want to end.  She is sent to model wedding dresses for her step-mother Marilyn.  While there she meets Davis Knight, who was very good fashion photography who gave it all up when well I am not going to give away that portion of the book.  Anyway it does have a bit of romance in it but its mainly about Ivy's journey of being empty emotional and finding God's redemption after a tragedy that will stay with her for the rest of her life.  This book was a beautiful story of God's redemption and the trials sometimes we have to go through to see love that is staring us right in the face.  I highly recommend this book to anyone is a fan of reading about God's redemptive power. 

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group Blogging for Books for this review and was not required to give a positive review.

P.S. To tell you how much I enjoyed this book I got it yesterday and could not put it down until I finished it today.

Monday, April 21, 2014

Very Powerful Book "Out Of The Depths" by Edgar Harrell, USMC

"Out Of The Depths" By Edgar Harrell USMC is a very powerful book of how he survived the sinking of the USS Indianapolis during World War 2.  I know you are probable saying never heard of it well neither did I before reading this book.  Even if you are not a fan of reading history books or war history to me this is a must read for everyone.  Mr. Harrell was on the USS Indianapolis when it made a very important and secretive delivery of  uranium-235 to our base in the island of Tinian which unknown to him and his fellow soldiers this was the fuel for the atomic bombs that would be used on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. Four days later after leaving there delivery in Tinian the ship was sank by Japanese submarines in the Philippines waters. For fours days men that survived the sinking had were trying to survive on the debris of the USS Indianapolis suffering from injuries, and oil burns.  These men had to watch as friends and fellow soldiers would die from injuries, shark attacks, and salt water poisoning.  The book is very graphic but is needed to be wrote about, so I am very glad the Mr. Harrell wrote this. Now as Christian man Mr Harrell also talks about the providence of God and shows his faith in all of this nightmare that happened to him which is big blessing to read.  He continues to write about their miraculous rescue (no one knew that that the ship was missing for 4 days so know was looking for it) and then the cover up.  Yes I said cover up our military tried to cover up and even shifted blame on this tragic incident in our military history.  I won't go into details but even with that he still shows his respect for the military.  I was very impressed by this book and it helped me understand more of the Pacific side of World War 2. 

I was given this book by Bethany House Publishers for my honest review and was not required to give a positive review.

Now onto some personal connections to the area the men of the USS Indianapolis were rescued was the island near the Philippines called Peleliu.  My Grandfather on my dad's side was in the liberation of Southern Philippians in Peleliu which I know was one of the most horrific battles in the Pacific.  My Grandfather has been gone for over 20 years now and I don't quite remember everything he told me about the war but I do remember him saying that he seen some horrific things that he just could not tell as young girl/young teenager.  This book really helped me bring some knowledge to some of the things my Grandfather may have seen.  So I appreciate this author very much as I know most Pacific survivors don't talk much about it.  So I will leave you with this photo of my Grandfather's flag, his military photo and one day we will have his Combat Infantry Badge (its the only badge, medal or ribbons we have left of his) displayed with it.  

Friday, April 18, 2014

Easter/Resurrection Sunday Memory

As Easter/Resurrection Sunday approaches it always takes me back to 2010 spending Easter in ICU at Dorenbechers Hospital with my youngest son.  I almost even forgot it was Easter that day until I came into his room and seeing the Easter Basket that was left for him(Our oldest and I stayed the night before with my SIL while my DH stayed with our son).  Then the nurses came around letting us know that a church had brought Easter brunch for all the patients visitors and staff in ICU.  It almost made me cry as I usually cook for my family on the big dinners but that year I for some reason decided I did not want to put on a big dinner.  God knew where we would be that Easter.  I still remember being numb from the life flight him and I took the day before, its a feeling I have felt not felt since.  But this food I got to share with my SIL (my DH was in the ICU room with our son as one of us or a family member was always next to him) was such a blessing.  The love and care that this church (I never caught their name) gave to us parents and visitors in ICU was such a blessing.  What I did not know was at about the same time our Pastor at our home church was having the congregation praying for our son before the Easter Service.  The love we felt from all the people around us up there and back home (over 200 miles away) helped us so much during that time of not knowing what was going to happen one day to the next with our son. Even with all this stress we still had a funny thing happen that Easter.  DH and I went to the mall (DH's sister was willing to be with our  youngest in his hospital room so we could get a break together) to get our son some clothes that fit him better as the hospital outfits was too big for him.  Well when got there we found out that every thing was closed, well at first that confused us then we realized duh its Easter.  Ah good and bad memories.

Whats the point of this memory?  Well its this no matter what you may have plan for a holiday please hold them loosely because God might change them.  He has with us many of times as we have come to call Holiday's hospital days as we have had a lot of holiday emergency room visits and hospitalizations.  Remember to keep people in prayers this Easter that you don't see in church they may be at a hospital visiting or in the hospital with a friend or family member.  I still kept my thoughts on what Christ did for us even through all that during that Easter but its one I will never forget.  Christ is our strength and salvation we have done nothing to earn it. Life will not always be easy but remember what Jesus Christ has done for us this Easter/Resurrection Sunday.

Monday, April 14, 2014

A Shining Light by Judith Miller

"A Shining Light" by Judith Miller is the newest book in her collection about the community of West Amana, Iowa. At the beginning of the book we found our main character Andrea with her young son Lukas finding out that her husband is dead at sea.  She decides she is going to go home to her father and the community of West Amana in Iowa.  When Andrea gets back home she finds her father's home has burned down and then she finds out that her father was killed in the fire. She also finds out that her dad sold the property the community.  I have to admit at this point in the story I thought I knew where the story was going but I was wrong.  Yes a mystery does happen but not the one you would think.  Andrea decides to stay in the close Christian group she grew up in West Amana, she is not sure on how they will treat her as she had left home and married an outsider.  Her son in my opinion is the one who helps her soften her to the community and to his new friend/mentor the tinsmith named Dirk.  As she is trying to find out what happened to the money that her dad received from the property sale, she gets told she needs to get to town quickly as someone needs her.  I am going to leave you here as this starts the mystery and adventure portion of the story.  This does have some romance with Dirk and her but the not the overly sickly sweet kind.  This book I did not expect to enjoy as much as I did.  Once I started it I could not put it down.  The story flows very well with very good characters.  It had just enough story, side story,and character development that it was not over done.  I would highly recommend this book.
  Now I will say that there was one thing that bothered me but it has nothing to do with the content of the book.  This is the 2nd fiction book I have received from Bethany House Publisher that has the same type of cover a young woman looking down with her eyes closed and holding something in her hands.  By just going by the cover I would think both books were the same but after reading them I knew they were not.  When it comes to Christian fiction a lot of people will pick up one because they like the cover, so I was disappointed to see very similar cover on two different books by two different authors.  So please remember the old adage don't judge a book by its cover.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing for my honest review.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

All Things Hidden By Tracie Peterson

All Things Hidden by Tracie Peterson is one of the newest books by Tracie Peterson.  It takes place mainly in 1930's Alaska but also in Chicago.  Are two hero's in the book are a young woman named Gwyn Hillerman and a upstart Doctor Jeremiah Vaughan.  We find at the beginning Gwyn in Alaska helping her father who is a doctor and Jeremiah losing his medical license and finance all in the same day.  The past of Jeremiah and another person in the village will come to haunt and harm the couple as they become friends and of course as their love blossoms.

My Opinion
First off I don't remember requesting this book as too me it seemed to be like a lot of books I have read.  And I was right its the typical Christian Romance Historical Fiction style of someone has something bad happen/heart broken then they travel to a rural area where someone else is fighting with issues.  They meet up but wait some other type of mystery is going on in this rural area and the couple fall in love and solve the mystery.  Yes I am being cynical but seriously as soon as I started reading it I knew what was going to happen.  Back to "All Things Hidden" Gwyn's actually from a very wealthy Chicago family but her and her father Dr. Hillerman live in Alaska which we have to remember at this time Alaska is still a colony not a state.  While Dr. Jeremiah has lost his medical license and his finance (who happens to be Gwyn's spoiled little sister) decides to take up Dr. Hillerman offer to help him in Alaska.  I admit I did like the characters of Gwyn and her father the kindness, the Love of Christ they have, and the strongness of character.  While Jeremiah's character to me was almost wimpy to me, he got on my nerves.  We also have the side story of the bad guy which I will not write the name otherwise it gives away the story which does add a little more excitement in the story.  I do wish we would have seen a little more of Gwyn's mother and sister the little bit we get is we know they are both spoiled very rich and unbelieving women. This book was just not my style of book.  If you are a fan of this style of book then go for it is a decent book for its style.

I received this book from Bethany House Publishing for my honest review.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

A Stillness of Chimes By Meg Mosley a good Christian mystery novel

Have you been looking for a good clean mystery novel?  Well look no further than the novel "A Stillness of Chimes" by Meg Moseley.  The book starts with a innocent remembrance of two young girls, Laura and Cassie picking berries with Cassie's younger sister nicknamed Tigger and their friend Sean. What they don't realize that innocent day will change their lives forever in ways they will not understand for a long time.  Then the book jumps to 18 years late where we find Laura back home to bury her mother.  He father had died years prior or did he, as there have been rumors around town that her dad has been seen around the town.  We find that Laura's childhood was not always peaches and sunshine since her dad suffered from PTSD due to the Vietnam War.  Also her old friend Sean whose dad is an abusive man and cause trouble for people shows back up in her life.  The book takes us through the trials of Laura as she tries to deal with the loss of her mom and the rumors of her dad being alive.  Her old friends Sean and  Cassie help through this whole mess plus the new mysteries that keep popping up.  Since this is a mystery I don't want to give much more away.  I did really enjoy this book however I will admit a little bit of the ending did bother me but I can't say why as that would give away part of the mystery.  Even with that note I will still highly recommend this book.

I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review and was not required to give a positive review.

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Following the crowd?

This thought will probable be a short one.  I am realizing I don't follow trends either secular or Christian.  Sometimes I feel that I am the odd one out that I don't follow the Christian crowd liking the same music or wanting to see the same movies or the same books.  But that's ok following the crowd is not always a good thing.  The crowd is fickle one moment this is cool and a must see and then its the next thing out there.  As Christians we need to remember just cause somethings says its Christian or about God make sure it is.  A lot of what is supposed to be Christian out there is not but most American Christians would not know that as they are not in their Bibles.  Yes I struggle with being in my Bible constantly also but that is no excuse not to verify what is being taught.  Too many times I see people following Christian trends cause it makes them feel good and then are shocked when it comes out that the person, or item is not Christian. Especially when the evidence was already there but cause it made you feel good you did not check it out.  Satan and his cronies do not come as obvious bad guy but comes as an angel of light (2 Corinthians 11:44). In other words he will sound like a Christian but will not be one. He will twist scripture just a little bit not a whole lot.  Just remember when we are so focused on the look over here at this new Christian fad and then look here at this new fad we are taking our eyes off of Christ and putting them onto the flesh. See quick rant from me for once.

A Song Unheard by Roseanna M. White

"A Song Unheard" by Roseanna M. White is the second book in the Shadows Over England series which takes place just before World ...